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Coming Soon: Long-Lasting, Injectable PrEP

PrEP injectable
Photo by Antoni Shkraba

Research shows long-acting, injectable cabotegravir is more effective at keeping HIV at bay than a daily pill. 

At this year’s 2022 Internationaal AIDS Conference, ViiV Healthcare presented research that cast a spotlight on the efficacy of cabotegravir long-acting (LA) for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

In a recent article posted by Healthline, this injectable form of PrEP complements other recent pushes for placing HIV prevention efforts higher on the list of urgency. As cabotegravir LA is the first and currently only long-acting injectable form of PrEP, it could change the face of HIV prevention.

The trial for cabotegravir LA determined that the injectable form of PrEP resulted in an “89% lower rate of HIV acquisition” as compared to a regimen of oral tablets.

Alex Rinehart, PhD, the Medicines Development Leader and HIV Prevention at ViiV Healthcare, noted that both injectable and oral variations of PrEP helped substantially reduce the risk of getting HIV. However, he also added, “Daily, oral PrEP adherence and uptake can be limited by a number of factors, including side effects, convenience, and stigma.”

Since there is no single medicine that works for everyone in all circumstances, the injectable that comes once every eight weeks with cabotegravir LA brings another avenue to help meet the evolving needs of prevention.

“With the availability of cavotegravir LA for PrEP as an injection every two months to prevent HIV, people have an important new option besides daily medication,” Rinehart said.

Just ahead of the AIDS Conference, the World Health Organization released new guidelines on cavotegravir LA and noted that while it is a safe and highly effective HIV prevention, it is not yet available outside of study settings. However, support from WHO and other organizations helps put this research into a more immediate focus.

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